|General Leo Cristophe|
|Japanese name||Leo Cristophe|
|Height||6' 2" (188 cm)|
|Weight||183 lbs. (83 kg)|
|Final Fantasy VI Character|
- "I knew you were being used as some sort of biological weapon. And because I didn't do anything about it, I'm no better than Kefka."
- —Leo to Terra Branford
General Leo Cristophe is a temporary playable character in Final Fantasy VI. He is a noble and honorable man who fights for what he believes in. General Leo is the finest swordsman in the Gestahlian Empire, and one of Emperor Gestahl's most trusted men. He always preferred negotiation over combat, in contrast to Kefka Palazzo.
Appearance and PersonalityEdit
General Leo wears green armor, and in his concept art wears a lighter green and yellow coat and a high collar. He has short-cut blond hair.
Leo is a strong, upstanding, moral man with a strong sense of compassion and honor. The men of the Empire look up to him as an ideal example of a warrior and are proud to serve him. He is slow to waste human life on both sides of a battle, and is completely loyal to Emperor Gestahl. These qualities place him at sharp odds with Kefka, who has no regard for life or morality and is utterly brutal in his tactics. However, Leo still treats Kefka with respect, but is also aware of his behavior and warns him not to act rashly when Leo must leave the siege at Doma in his hands. The one time he truly gets angry with Kefka was shortly before his death, where he attempts to threaten Kefka (In the GBA version, he simply informs Kefka that he's insane). It is unknown why a man like Leo would serve the Empire in conquering the world, but given he was born in Vector it is likely out of a sense of duty and honor to his homeland.
General Leo was born in Vector, capital of the Empire. He was raised as a soldier and rose quickly through the ranks. He was highly respected by all in the Empire for his honor and courage, much unlike Kefka. He was one of the few soldiers who refused to get a Magitek infusion.
Leo is first seen in a flashback at the beginning of the game, where he is listening to Gestahl giving a speech to his soldiers, however, the player does not meet him until Sabin Rene Figaro and Shadow arrive at the Imperial Camp near Doma Castle. Here, Leo's honorable qualities are quickly brought to light when he tells an Imperial Trooper they must delay their attack to minimize casualties, driving the point home by asking the trooper if he wants to force Leo to be the one to inform the Trooper's family of his death. Kefka Palazzo is also at the camp, and plans to poison Doma. Although Leo directly orders him not to follow through with the plan, Leo is called away by Gestahl, and in his absence Kefka dumps the poison.
Leo's next appearance is in Vector when the Returners are having a banquet with Gestahl. Gestahl asks Leo to accompany Terra Branford and Locke Cole on a mission of goodwill to the Espers. Leo does so and on the boat, he has a heart-to-heart talk with Terra, who does not know what it is like to feel love. While she is desperate to find out, she has severe doubts that she will ever succeed. Leo convinces her otherwise and reveals his guilt over his knowledge of the Empire's manipulations of her, and not acting to stop it. He then dispatches Locke, Terra, and Shadow to search for the Espers, while he and Celes Chere search on their own.
After Locke and Terra locate the Espers led by Yura, they return to Thamasa and meet with Leo. Although peace negotiations are quickly reached, Kefka intervenes and incapacitates Leo's soldiers, including Celes, Terra and Locke. Telling Leo this was ordered by Gestahl, Kefka kills the Espers and takes their Magicite, then orders his bodyguards to burn the village.
Leo attacks and apparently defeats Kefka, only for a shade of Gestahl conjured by Kefka confirmed that Gestahl did indeed order the attack and manipulated Leo, as well as learn that the "Kefka" he defeated was actually a shade of his - the real Kefka emerges from the shadows and slays Leo shortly after, with Kefka telling Leo that he'll excuse his murder of him by claiming to Gestahl that he disposed of a traitor. The Returners lay Leo to rest at a grave in Thamasa.
Besides Celes, Leo is the only Imperial Soldier to show any true sense of honor and decency, and many of the Returners hold him in high regard. Sabin remarks "he could be my friend, if he weren't my enemy." When meeting with Cyan Garamonde in Vector, he apologizes for failing to stop Kefka from poisoning the citizens in Doma, Cyan's kingdom. Cyan in turn, when he hears Leo was slain, considers it a waste of a fine soldier. The rest of the Returners show no suspicion or hostility towards him, as evidenced by the respectful burial they give to him.
Leo's stats are good all around. His equipment is set, as he is a temporary character. He equips the Crystal Sword, the Aegis Shield, and the Golden Helmet and Armor. He comes with a Master's Scroll and a Gigas Glove. Leo's special ability is Shock, which deals non-elemental magic damage to all opponents. Gau can access this ability by using the Yojimbo Rage, and its Spell Power is 128, and it cannot be dodged. Due to the Master's Scroll, Leo attacks four times when choosing the Attack command.
When control of Leo is first gained, the game moves him to the back row. If manually moved to the front row, Leo's regular (four-part) attack will do significantly more damage than Shock. When kept in the back row, it is still more powerful, though to a less noticeable degree.
Leo has sprites for spellcasting, though it is impossible to see these sprites without hacking or glitches, as Leo doesn't know and cannot learn any magic. Like all guest characters, he cannot equip magicite or earn any Magic AP.
Leo is Latin for "lion." Christophe is the French form of Christopher, a name derived from the Ancient Greek Christóphoros, or "Christ-bearing."
- Although his given Job is General, Leo has many characteristics of a Paladin.
- General Leo was the focus of many rumors during the game's initial release. Much like Aerith Gainsborough after him, many rumors persisted as to how to resurrect Leo in the World of Ruin. There is no method by which he can be resurrected other than modifying the game's code.
- Using a glitch, it is possible to add General Leo to the party for certain locations in the World of Balance.
- In the Dawn of Souls and subsequent remakes of the original Final Fantasy, Leo is one of the automatic names the player can choose for the Warrior Job.
- Leo's skin color is a topic of great debate. Some argue he is black due to his skin being dark in Yoshitaka Amano's artwork and in his menu portrait, as well as having facial features of African people, but in his sprite he is white. His sprite being white-skinned may be due to color palette limitations within the game's code.
- Shortly before his death at the hands of Kefka, the latter says that [Leo] was "always, always, ALWAYS such a Goody Two-Shoes!," a reference to a fairy tale storybook character.